‘I’d been waiting for this clear view of the belltower – I had remembered it as a boy’

By Ian Marland at

As a photograph it is almost a step back in time.

This West End skyscape was captured by photographer Martin Shields last week.

It was shot looking east along Dumbarton Road towards the fabulous Glasgow University belltower.

Dumbarton Road photograph

View: the photograph was taken from Dumbarton Road near Peel Street looking east

Its significance is that it is the first time in more than 40 years that this view has opened up.

It has been made possible by the demolition of the imposing Western Infirmary building.

Martin told Glasgow West End Today it was a shot he had been waiting to capture for weeks.

“I knew that view was going to open up – so it was just a question of waiting and getting the right shot.

“It’s such a wonderful view of a magnificent feature of the West End landscape.”

The hospital is being cleared to make way for a new university campus.

The Western Infirmary was built in the early 1970s.

Since posting the photograph on social media the image has sparked a great deal of interest.

University principal Anton Muscatelli was among those who liked the image on Twitter.

The snap has even been Picture of The Day in The Herald newspaper.

Martin is a former staff photographer for the Herald & Times papers who now has his own business.

He said the view was one he had been familiar with as a young lad.

Glasgow University Belltower

Demolition: the Western Infirmary is making way for a new university campus

“My granny and grandpa lived on Dumbarton Road at 250, across from the library and the church.

“In the back of my mind I must have remembered the view as it was when I was a young boy – before the Western Infirmary was built.

“I seem to remember the hospital being built – but sometimes you kind of imagine that you remember something.”

The photo was taken with a Canon 5D 70-200mm telephoto lens.

Martin Shields:

“I seem to remember the hospital being built – but sometimes you kind of imagine that you remember something.”

And Martin revealed a trick that ensured the photo would be clear of traffic in the foreground.

“I was near a crossing at the corner of Peel Street and Dumbarton Road.

“I had to press the button a few times to stop the buses from getting in the way.

“It worked nicely – but I’m sorry if anyone had to wait at the lights!”

* You can follow Martin on Instagram and Twitter @MartinShields1 or visit his website here